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Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez: Huge demand on us

Updated on: 19 September,2023 08:41 AM IST  |  Barcelona

Barcelona coach Xavi insists standards set from 2006 to 2015, when they won four titles, have put them under pressure ahead of Antwerp encounter

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez: Huge demand on us

FC Barcelona’s Jules Kounde (left) and Robert Lewandowski (second from left) during a training session ahead of the match against Royal Antwerp FC in Barcelona yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said on Monday his time in the team as a player helped set a high bar which the club are now struggling to reach in the Champions League. The Catalan giants won four editions of the competition between 2006 and 2015, and have endured some humiliating eliminations since. 

Barcelona let leads slip against Roma and Liverpool and were thrashed by Bayern Munich in recent years, while they have failed to make it out of the group stage in the past two seasons. “There is huge demand on us, the bar is so high—this is Barca,” Xavi told a news conference. “This is a consequence of the Barca of the past few years, of our era, as a player. In 10 years, from 2006 to 2015, four Champions Leagues were won.”

Xavi Hernandez
Xavi Hernandez

The coach said the club’s objective was to make it through the group phase, ahead of their opener in the competition against Belgian champions Royal Antwerp on Tuesday. “We like challenges, but the level of demand is so high, it’s brutal,” he continued. “It’s a consequence of inheriting a brilliant era, the best in the history of this club.” 

However, Xavi said his players were coping well and excited to start their new European campaign. “Looking in the faces of the players, the joy, I see hope,” added Xavi. “A lot of hope and desire.” Barcelona spent little in the summer as they continue to endure financial difficulties, but were able to sign Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo on loan.

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